Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must know by now how popular LinkedIn has become. Additionally, if you are operating in the B2B space, LinkedIn is one platform you cannot afford to ignore. If you are not on LinkedIn yet, I strongly encourage you to join. You can find some interesting statistics and fun facts about LinkedIn here and here.
In this short post, I want to address one key aspect for successful connection building on LinkedIn: the connection process itself. I know what you must think right now: why do we need yet another process, especially for a social platform? Well I am willing to bet with you, that the following has happened to you too and you ended up being frustrated with the whole “connection building process”.
If you are like me, you are getting a lot of connection requests on LinkedIn, on a daily basis. Unfortunately most of them are from people you never met and have no relationship whatsoever to them. And in many cases, these requests are performed by automated tools that claim to help you grow your network faster. You can actually spot those pretty easy: just check the person’s profile, who requests to connect with you, and see if you have anything in common with them and if they have recently visited your profile. This should give you a pretty good indication about who is behind the request: a person seeking to build a connection or a machine gathering clicks and data.
So what can you do?
If you did not know, LinkedIn allows you to add a personal note to each connection request. Both on mobile and web.
Here are a few tips for connecting on LinkedIn
- Do your research about the person, company and industry you would like to connect with.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
- Add a custom invite note (this is where you shine) explaining (do your best - you have only 300 characters to grab the others’ person attention) them why a connection would be mutually beneficial.
- Pro Tip: after a successful connection send a thank you message and start a conversation.
Here is a short video that summarizes the process.
There are however, a few instances where you can connect with people on LinkedIn and a personal note is not necessarily mandatory.
These are when:
- The person is next to you and you agreed to connect on LinkedIn and you do it on the spot.
- You have previously engaged with them in some form of communication and they remember you.
Pro Tip: Even if you know the person and you previously communicated with them, I would still encourage you to send an accompanying note. People get many connection requests and it helps to have another touch point to remember you by.
LinkedIn is all about connecting with peers and helping each other. LinkedIn is also about sales, marketing and brand building. But most importantly is about trust. Build connections you can trust and even if the process might seem slow, quality beats quantity any day.
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